Another day, another sick session at Breckenridge! Day two of the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships has come to a close but the competition is just starting to heat up, and the sounds around the hill are helping to pump up the riders.
As mentioned in our day one recap, practice days have historically been laid back, but with this year's Dew Tour stop being a U.S. Olympic selection event the athletes all seem to be arriving early to get as much time on the hillside as possible.
Hometown hero Zack Black is fortunate enough to snowboard on the pipe at Breckenridge on the regular, but he still makes a point to take advantage of practice days in order to feel fully comfortable.
Breckenridge native, Zack Black is getting comfortable in the pipe.
"I'm not the kind of guy who likes to go out there and start throwing my tricks right away," says the Breckenridge native Black. "I like to spend a full day in the halfpipe airing it out, just enjoying it and feeling it out. Typically on day two I will start throwing tricks, and if we have a third practice day, sometimes we do sometimes we don't, then I'll go out."
Clearly Black takes his competition riding serious. If you have any doubt to that just ask him what he's listening to while riding.
"I listen to Graveyard, actually. It's heavy metal, a lot like Black Sabbath… it's all about the mood I'm trying to match and the aggression I want to put out there."
"Matching the mood" is probably the best way to explain why athletes play close attention to their music, but not everybody is blasting heavy metal. Take Henrik Harlaut on the freeski side. Harlaut's game face is his smile from ear to ear and that is undoubtedly tied to what he has flowing out of his headphones.
Henrik Harlaut happy as ever.
"I listen to bunch of different stuff, but most of the time it's a reggae playlist,' says Harlaut smiling just thinking about it. "Bob Marley definitely. He always gets me the most hyped."
Keep an eye on Harlaut this week as he landed himself in third place last year in the Men's Freeski Slopestyle event and has already expressed his approval of this year's course saying, "it's faster and more floaty."
Between Black's heavy metal sounds and Harlaut's reggae playlists, it is clear that everyone is riding to their own beat and for their own reasons.
"I'm listening to DMX before I drop in," says the fun-loving Devin Logan.
Devin Logan always brings a smile to Dew Tour.
Logan is a riot on and off the hill, and when asked why DMX her answer was about as unpredictable as ever.
"He barks a lot and he's kind of degrading to women, so it gets me pumped I guess."
Logan's love for enjoying herself doesn't stop with her, it's contagious on the hill and if there is anyone who can speak to it, it's Keri Herman.
"I've been listening to Devin sing all day, says Herman holding back her laughter. "She knows all the songs I like, so I can sing along and I don't even need the music, I just need her voice."
Keri Herman has a week full of fun ahead of her.
Similarly to Herman, other riders on the hill have made mention that they choose not to listen to headphones on the hill, and most of the time it is because they are too busy chatting up their friends.
"The reason why I'm not is because I'm surrounded by so many of my friends and we are always stopping and chatting," says Scotty Lago following his practice session. "I'm always riding with one of my buddies so I don't usually ride with headphones."
Scotty Lago enjoying the pure sounds of snowboarding.
Regardless if it is hip-hop, heavy metal, reggae or the simply the sounds of friends, the sounds on and around the hill definitely help set the mood for the riders and their competitive edge.
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